Elks, Scouts hold flag service

WEIRTON – The Weirton Elks Lodge 1801 conducted Flag Day services June 15 in front of the Weirton Millsop Community Center.

Leading Knight Debbie Verelst chaired the event. Boy Scout Troop 334 and Cub Pack 334 of Cove United Presbyterian Church participated in ceremonies to honor the flag, celebrate the anniversary of its birth and recall the achievements beneath the fold.

The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with Exalted Ruler James “Jimbo” Miller calling Secretary Bill Verelst Jr. for the history of the American Flag with responses by Esquire Paul Duffy, Trustee Michael Kraina, Leading Knight Debbie Verelst and Chaplain Stephanie Gurrera. From 1620 to 1775, the colonies shared the Union Jack with Britain.

Nine flags were entered by the scouts and recognized by the Weirton Elks. They included the Pine Tree Flag, adopted in 1775 by Continental forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill; Snake Flag, used by the southern colonies from 1776 to 1777; Single Flag, with a design of 13 alternating red and white stripes; Grand Union Flag, used by the Navy in 1777 and the first American flag to receive an 11-gun salute from the Fort of Orange in the West Indies; Stars and Stripes Flag, designed by Betsy Ross in 1778, representing the 13 colonies, and, in 1795, two stars and stripes were added to represent Vermont’s and Kentucky’s admission; Flag of 1812, with 13 stripes and 20 stars on the blue field, representing each state; 48-Star Flag, designed in 1912, to add 28 new stars; 50-Star Flag, commissioned on July 4, 1959, to add a star for Alaska and a year later, Hawaii; and POW-MIA Flag, to recognize the plight of those who are Prisoners of War and Missing In Action.

Scoutmaster Keith Huntzinger and Assistant Scoutmaster Doug Obeldobel lead the scouts, including Jacob Huntzinger, George Wansack, Joshua Schultz, Johnny Schultz, Mason Obeldobel and Kris Obeldobel.

Cubmaster Karen Huntzinger led the cub scouts, including John Wansack, Joey Huntzinger, Trevor Obeldobel, Roy Shrieve, Ben Doak, Matthew Doak and Will Coy.

Members concluded the ceremony by saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Gurrera leading the closing prayer.